The Hadlow Down Book Club have added a review of their February read ‘Piranesi’ by Susannah Clarke to the book club pages.
Click here to go to the Book Club pages and read.
This month we have been reading Susanna Clarke’s ’Piranesi’ (2020)
‘The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite’
I have to admit that I was reluctant to read this book – not my usual sort of thing at all – and to begin with I made slow progress. However, the beauty of the descriptions and the mystery and suspense that develops drew me in and I found it a rewarding book to read.
It is set in the ‘House’, a fantasy world made up of Halls filled with classical statues. Some Halls are very beautiful, others are sinister and potentially dangerous. The Halls are washed by the tides of the sea and periodically high tides cause flooding while clouds drift across the high walls. Within these Halls lives the narrator known as Piranesi. He is alone apart from ‘the Other’ who he believes also lives in the House and who meets him twice a week for research. Sometimes the Other brings Piranesi gifts, like shoes, vitamin pills, a ham and cheese sandwich. Continue reading “‘Piranesi’ – Book Club Review”
This month we have been reading Anne Tyler’s ‘Redhead by the Side of the Road’, one of the shorter and more bittersweet of her novels but, nevertheless, quietly profound and longlisted for the Booker Prize.
It is about Micah Mortimer:- a man in his 40s, the youngest of a chaotic family of sisters; the only one to go to university and then have a professional job, but who opted out of corporate life and now scrapes a living running a one-man computer repair business and caretaking his block of flats, giving him free accommodation. His family regard him with affectionate bewilderment.
Continue reading “January Book Club Review”
What you can and what you can’t do in Hadlow Down whilst we remain in Tier 2
During this lockdown the Book Club has been reading “Gilead” by Marilyn Robinson, published in 2004 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2005, often on lists of best or most influential books.
I think that Barack Obama gives one of the most succinct summaries in his interview with the author for New York Review of books (2015) ‘One of my favourite characters in fiction is a pastor in Gilead , Iowa, named John Ames, who is gracious and courtly and a little bit confused about how to reconcile his faith with all the various travails that his family goes through. And I just fell in love with the book.’
It takes the form of a journal and memoir, as written in 1956 and is addressed to the narrator’s seven- year- old son. John Ames is 76, ill with angina and wishes to leave something of himself to his son. He has led a lonely life: his wife and baby daughter having died many years ago. In old age he married a young woman, a wanderer of little education but has wisdom and sensitivity. Some of the loveliest passages in the book are as Ames watches his young son and his wife together. Continue reading “‘Gilead’ by Marilyn Robinson – Book Club Review”
Imagine a world where there is no illness or suffering; where embryos are created in test-tubes and raised in hatcheries – their caste determined by the chemicals the State injects into them, brainwashed as they sleep. Where the concept of family, mother or one sexual partner is repugnant – ‘everyone belongs to everyone else’ – and death itself is sanitised and painless. Where doubts and worries are soothed by ‘soma’, which creates virtual worlds, and where games and lighthearted play are constantly encouraged; solitude and books actively discouraged.
Continue reading “Book Review – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley”
“A wonderful book”; “I absolutely loved it”; “I started to re-read it immediately” – these were some of the book club’s comments on this month’s book ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell which has just won this year’s Women’s prize for Fiction.
Hamnet (another way of spelling Hamlet) was Shakespeare’s son, one of a twin with his sister Judith. Little is known of him but he died in 1596 aged 11, and four year’s later his father wrote ‘Hamlet’. This is a fictionalized account of what might have happened. Continue reading “Book Review – Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrel”
From posts on the Hadlow Down Facebook Group page there seems to be increasing support for a community led initiative to help the aged and more vulnerable in our community regarding the Covid-19 Virus and ‘self isolation’.
Continue reading “Hadlow Down and the Covid-19 Virus”
The Horticultural Society’s AGM in the Village Hall on Tuesday, 17th March at 10.00 am has been cancelled due to ‘self isolation’advice concerning the corono-virus.
Membership for 2020 is now due. As Barbara Ball has retired as Membership Secretary please contact Kathy Cracknell for a membership card on 01825 830616 or email: email@example.com
The Spring Supper on Wednesday, 22nd April has been cancelled due to ‘self isolation’advice concerning the corono-virus.